pol ‧ i ‧ cy S3 W1 AC /ˈpɒləsi, ˈpɒlɪsi $ ˈpɑː-/ BrE AmE noun ( plural policies )
[ Sense 1,3: Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: policie , from Late Latin politia ; ⇨ ↑ police 1 ]
[ Sense 2: Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: French ; Origin: police 'document, certificate' , from Old Italian polizza , from Greek apodeixis 'proof' ]
1 . [uncountable and countable] a way of doing something that has been officially agreed and chosen by a political party, a business, or another organization
foreign/economic/public etc policy
a foreign policy adviser
The company has adopted a strict no-smoking policy.
government policy on higher education
US policy towards China
it is (sb’s) policy to do something
It is hospital policy to screen all mothers with certain risk factors.
2 . [countable] a contract with an insurance company, or an official written statement giving all the details of such a contract:
an insurance policy
There’s a clause in the policy that I’d like to discuss.
I’ve just renewed the policy (=arranged for it to continue) .
Does the policy cover theft and fire?
You can take out a policy (=buy one) for as little as $11.00 a month.
3 . [countable] a particular principle that you believe in and that influences the way you behave
it is sb’s policy to do something
It’s always been my policy not to gossip.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + policy
▪ government/public/state policy
Government spending is determined by government policy.
▪ party policy
State ownership is party policy.
▪ company/hospital/university etc policy
It is not company policy to offer refunds.
▪ foreign policy
Support for human rights is a key element in our foreign policy.
▪ economic/fiscal policy
The middle classes have suffered most as a result of government economic policies.
▪ defence/energy/housing etc policy
Our energy policies must put the environment first.
▪ a deliberate policy
Some customers pursue a deliberate policy of delaying payment.
▪ a clear policy
There was no clear policy on this matter.
▪ a coherent policy (=one in which all the parts of the policy work well together)
A long-term coherent policy for industry is needed.
▪ formulate/develop a policy
We try to formulate policies that will meet the needs of the people.
▪ make policy (=decide what it will be)
A committee of representatives makes policy.
▪ shape policy (=develop it or have an influence on it)
These terrorist acts will not be allowed to shape our foreign policy.
▪ adopt a policy (=use one)
He adopted a policy of radical reform.
▪ implement a policy (=take action in the way that has been decided)
Local government is responsible for implementing central government policy.
▪ pursue/follow a policy (=continue with a policy over a period of time)
The organization is pursuing a policy of cost cutting.
▪ reverse a policy (=stop a policy and change it)
The new government set about reversing previous policies.
▪ a policy aims at something/to do something (=tries to achieve something)
The policy aimed to reduce the budget deficit.
■ policy + NOUN
▪ a policy decision
No policy decision can be made until the next meeting.
▪ a policy statement
There has been no policy statement on this from the French government.
▪ a policy change
There have been numerous policy changes in recent months.
▪ a policy issue
He rarely consulted him on general policy issues.
▪ a policy maker (=someone who decides on what it should be)
Policy makers have not dealt with the issue very effectively.
▪ a policy objective
How can we best achieve our policy objectives?
▪ a policy initiative (=something done to achieve a policy's goals)
The policy initiatives have focused on the inner cities.
▪ a change of/in policy
This decision represented a major change in policy.
▪ a shift in policy (=a small change)
The shift in policy placed more emphasis on teachers' assessments of students' progress.
▪ a reversal of policy (=a change back to what it was before)
The strength of this opposition forced a rapid reversal of policy.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
■ NOUN + policy
▪ an insurance policy
Is the damage covered by your insurance policy?
▪ a life policy/life insurance policy (=one that will pay out money if you die)
New homeowners must usually buy a life policy before they can get a mortgage.
▪ a contents policy British English (=one that will pay out money if things in your home are damaged or stolen)
Most basic contents policies cover accidents to mirrors.
▪ take out/buy a policy (=arrange it)
People with children should take out a life insurance policy.
▪ renew a policy (=buy it again, especially regularly)
The policy must be renewed every year.
▪ a policy covers something (=will pay out money in relation to it)
The policy does not cover dental bills.
▪ a policy pays out (=pays you money when you claim it)
I thought my insurance policy would pay out.
• • •
▪ plan a set of actions for achieving something in the future, especially a set of actions that has been considered carefully and in detail:
Leaders outlined a plan to end the fighting.
▪ plot/conspiracy a secret plan to do something bad or illegal, made by a group of people:
There was a plot to assassinate the President.
a terrorist conspiracy
▪ scheme British English an official plan that is intended to help people:
The government has introduced a new scheme to help young people find work.
▪ strategy a carefully designed plan which is intended to achieve a particular purpose over a long period of time:
the company’s business strategy
The government’s economic strategy has been criticized by many experts.
We need to develop effective strategies for combating the sale of counterfeit goods.
▪ initiative a new plan for dealing with a particular problem or for achieving a particular aim:
a peace initiative
a major new initiative to tackle street crime
▪ policy a plan that members of a government, political party, company etc agree on, that states how they intend to deal with a particular subject or problem:
the government’s immigration policy
It’s company policy to allow people to work from home.
▪ programme British English , program American English a series of activities that a government or organization organizes, which aims to achieve something important and will continue for a long time:
a five-year programme which will create 2000 new jobs
federal programs for low-income housing